Among many cancellations that happened in the past couple of weeks, we announced last week that Cedarville Global Outreach trips are canceled for this coming summer. This of course was difficult news for GO staff as well as the faculty, staff, and students who had been praying, planning, and fundraising. I was planning on leading a trip this summer myself so I was feeling the weight of disappointment on that level as well.
However, in the midst of confusion and disappointment, in the middle of the wondering, God speaks to us from His Word. The morning the announcement was made, I was reading Psalm 46. I came across the very well known and often quoted phrase in verse 10, “Be still and know that I am God”.
But how perfectly paired with that phrase is the next one, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” God knows exactly what He is doing. He can work without our help! Be still, and watch Him. He will be exalted among the nations. Nothing can stop Him.
Let’s watch and pray. Pray for the missionaries you were supposed to be serving with this summer. Pray for the people you were supposed to be ministering to. Pray for God’s glory to be known!
We in Global Outreach are so grateful for many of you who were willing to bring gospel hope to a different part of the world. Lord willing you’ll have opportunity in the future to see that desire fulfilled. Let’s trust that in the waiting, that in the quiet, while the world is “on hold” we can be still and know that He will be exalted.
–Keith Holcomb, Global Outreach Staff
An enjoyable time meeting university students in Lisbon talking life, playing beach soccer and enjoying company. Many special conversations took place planting seeds of our gospel hope.
A time of sharing after a game against Estoril Praia. Soccer is a beautiful bridge for gospel conversation! This night in particular individuals were particularly receptive to what we shared.
Sharing the hope for which we play the beautiful game following a match against Amora Futebol Clube. The five portuguese speaking players on our team were able to translate as testimonies and reasons for for faith were shared.
A quick look at the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other before heading to camp.
The Eleuthera team before church on Sunday morning! We attended a Haitian Church, Palmetto Point Church of the Nazarene. Joe Gerber prepared a little sermon, Quinn Naegeli and Lexi Groters shared their testimonies, and the team sang In Christ Alone & How Great is Our God.
The team exploring the south side of Eleuthera!
It has been a great trip so far but very emotionally stretching. Prayer seems to be a big part of out ministry so far. We have been able to encourage and pray with several of the church planters. We are praying here for Hogan who is working in a very difficult part of the city.
More prayer and sharing.
Inviting people in to the church.
Stay tuned! We will be posting updates from our missions teams throughout spring break. You can also follow us @cedarvilleGO on instagram and facebook.
Thank you to those who prayed for and supported our teams this year. Here are a few of our favorite pictures from the summer.
A few of our softball ladies posing with players from Costa Rica. We call this one, “Don’t Mess.”
Courtney Ashburn and Emily Savard doing vitals on a patient (and apparently her dog) in Ecuador.
Kenan Estes distributing Bibles at a school in Peru.
Halie Hardwick comforting a patient in Eswatini.
Hannah Joiner and Xandra French clowning around with South African friends.
An end of the day stroll with the Ecuador team.
Just a Peru Bible team pic…with the MOST AMAZING background!
This summer I had the incredible opportunity to serve as a short-term missionary in Cochabamba, Bolivia, through the SIM Launch program for summer interns. My heart was softened and burdened for the many Quechua people who are still unreached and currently do not have the opportunity to know our Savior. Currently, in Bolivia, there is a huge movement among the rural Quechua communities to move closer to the major cities. This is an excellent opportunity to introduce Christ!
God’s faithfulness and goodness were so evident throughout my time in Bolivia along with the months and even years leading up to this summer. I have learned so much this summer and God has definitely been working in my heart in amazing and unexpected ways. In serving cross-culturally, I realized that I have much to learn and little to teach. Servanthood is both a challenge and a burden that, by the grace of God, we must fully embody to effectively minister the gospel of Christ cross-culturally. Two of the lessons that God taught me this summer were:
1) God’s timing is perfect and the waiting is worth it.
2) that God’s grace is sufficient and His power is most evident in our weakness. It is often when we feel unworthy, inadequate, or under-qualified that we must choose to fully rely on God to accomplish what He has called us to do.
A few last takeaways from Jake Grasser in Africa…
First off, Jesus is worthy of ALL honor and praise. Everything that happened this summer in the heart of those who I served and in my heart was totally because of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. He is magnificent, and if more people were able to gaze at His beauty through interactions with me and by reading my writing, then the time and energy is well spent.
God has not shown a ‘special level’ of grace to me by revealing more of himself to me. He reveals himself to all of us equally- we must simply learn to look for Him in every situation. He is there if you look. One way to see more of God is to ask/petition/pray REGULARLY for more of your sin to be revealed. God wants our full devotion and faith- we won’t be able to do that until sin is cut out and removed. It isn’t fun at all, but God has shown me so much of my wickedness this summer and it has deeply increased my delight in Him by showing me that I literally CANNOT do it on my own. There is nothing more fulfilling and rewarding than a life sold out for Jesus.
Until I learned to approach God in an intimate manner and actually be honest with myself AND God- I was just distant and putting on a ‘Christian’ front. I went to church, did the Sunday school thing, read my Bible occasionally. When I realized how unhappy I was and regularly cried out to God, He turned my cries into JOY. A scheduled out, regular time of prayer is critical to spiritual growth. Praying on my knees or laying on the ground in submission also helps me remove my wicked pride and admit my depravity.
Next steps- Lord willing: 2 more years of pharmacy school, then most likely 2 years of work to gain clinical experience, 1 year of language school- then move to West Africa full time. I don’t know what country or agency yet. I have my leanings, but there is plenty of time to make a decision.
May we never cease to have faith, love Jesus, and have compassion on those around us. Jesus is worth it all- believe that.